Deadly duo Donnell Wallam and Gabi Simpson proudly represent another year of community partnership between Deadly Choices, the Queensland Firebirds and Netball Queensland as Ambassadors for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preventative health program.
Deadly Choices, an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd (IUIH), uses sport as a vehicle to engage with communities, with associated athlete Ambassadors able to reinforce positive health behaviour to ensure strong, healthy and deadly future generations of Indigenous Australians.
Hailing from NSW, Simpson has established her leadership credentials across more than a decade in top level netball competition. A forerunner and Wing Defence for the Firebirds she is natural community role model.
While Wallam, a proud Noongar woman from Western Australia, signed with the Firebirds last year in the pivotal position of Goal Shooter. During her short, yet successful time with the club, she has excelled in the competition and is dually recognised as an inspiring First Nations athlete both on and off the court.
Both players are excited for the year ahead in their role as Deadly Choices Ambassadors where they hope to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to remain active, eat healthy food, quit smoking and connect with their Community Controlled Health Service for regular 715 Health Checks.
“It's a privilege for me to be involved as an Ambassador with Deadly Choices and be in a position to be a role model for the younger generation - teaching them to stay active, get involved in sports and be confident in sports and living a healthy lifestyle,” Wallam said.
“Seeing role models that they look up to in netballers or sportspeople promote healthy lifestyles will have a huge impact and influence on Indigenous kids to stay healthy, get involved in sport and have those health checks that they need.”
The QLD Firebirds, through Netball Queensland, play an important role in engaging with and driving positive health and wellbeing outcomes among Queensland’s Indigenous community.
“Deadly Choices is another aspect of connecting with community, using our platform to help promote healthy lifestyles for First Nations peoples through making Deadly Choices.
“I'm grateful to be involved as an Ambassador alongside Nelly this year. Getting out into the community, meeting the kiddos and seeing people wearing our Firebirds Deadly Choices shirt will be special,” Simpson said.
Deadly Choices follows a unique preventative health model using limited edition shirt designs as incentives for community to undertake their annual health check.
The three entities have collaborated to provide a new Queensland Firebirds Deadly Choices shirt, based off the Netball Queensland artwork 'Reignited' by Goreng Goreng artist Rachael Sarra, which are now available at participating health services across Australia.
IUIH Director of Commercial Operations Dallas Leon reflects on the strength of the Deadly Choices, Firebirds and Netball QLD relationship as it enters its fourth year.
“The Firebirds – Netball Queensland – Deadly Choices partnership provides a very strong community engagement tool to enhance positive health messaging and continue to encourage health checks among communities from right across Queensland,” confirmed Leon.
“Indicative of the direct impact Deadly Choices is having in communities, Queensland now has the highest number and rate, upwards of 40%, of 715 Heath Checks of any state in Australia.
“Our Deadly Choices shirts continue to play a key role in driving demand for preventative health care, contributing to an almost 4000% increase in health checks since inception throughout South-East Queensland.
“Through Deadly Choices we’re making a real difference in closing the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and with the support and commitment of the Firebirds this will be enhanced over coming years.”
The various elements of the Deadly Choices, Firebirds and Netball QLD partnership will be celebrated during this year’s Firebirds First Nations Round of the Suncorp Super Netball Series against the Melbourne Vixens on Sunday, 4 June at Nissan Arena.